Botanic Gardens Education Network (BGEN) 2015 Conference


Westonbirt, UK

Start Date:

Wednesday 4th November


4–6 Nov 2015

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Time for Trees: connecting people with the majesty of trees


Be inspired by trees! Join us at Westonbirt National Arboretum for three packed days of engaging debate, fun hands-on workshops and professional networking (and perhaps a little autumn leaf peeping!)


Unsurprisingly, this year’s bgen conference is all about the majesty of trees and sets out to explore what they mean to people and how we, as professionals, can make the most of this special relationship. As well as delving into the past we’ll be looking into the future of our trees and woodlands and what this might mean for society.


Conference programme: You will have the opportunity to explore 3 themes throughout the Conference through workshops, panel discussions, tours around Westonbirt, hands on taster sessions and the ever-popular ‘speed making’.


Theme 1 – Using trees to engage people with the past:

Mature trees reflect their past. People often have powerful memories of trees in their past. This theme aims to explore how we can use trees to engage people with the past and the benefits.


Theme 2 – Making the most of trees in the here and now:

Trees provide a rich and immediate sensory experience and physical presence in our landscape. This theme aims to provide practical hands-on ideas to enable people to connect with trees.


Theme 3 – Using trees to engage people in our future:

Many trees will live to see the future. But what does the future hold for trees, woodlands and our society? This theme aims to explore the big social and environmental issues related to trees and woods and how we can help engage with this debate. Inspiring new audiences about trees


Workshops include:

– Tree folklore

– Realising the benefits of trees for wellbeing; mindfulness and memory

– Trees and the secondary/tertiary curriculum

– Heritage trees: memories and mapping

– Update on tree research and practical session ID health issues brainstorm how we can develop programmes to link in

– Woodland archaeology and pollen analysis using our woods to detect our past

– Westonbirt’s new TreeQuest youth app

– Forest school for pre-schoolers


There will also be some woody wind-down activities on Wednesday with a range of taster activities used in community programmes as wind down after a busy day:

– Playing with fire Kelly kettle challenge

– Chewing on trees tasting session

– Night walk with spooky tree tales

– TREE- mendous activities word play and trees

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